Story by: Aubrey Houdeshell
Photography by: Nino Silva and Vy Pham
Walking up Broadway just past 11th, the street was crowded with limos, cocktail dresses, and stilettos. Hosted by 303 Magazine, giant white letters spelling out “Denver Fashion Weekend” had been applied to the tinted windows of City Hall event venue, and the line to get in the building was buzzing with excitement. Inside the entryway to the building sat a silver Mini Cooper, large bags in bold reds and blues with the word “Mini” in the center adorned the ceiling like Christmas ornaments, gifts from one of the sponsors of the show. At the back of the room was a bar, on the stone walls behind it hung epically sized works of art in vibrant colors and glitters.
Through a pair of glass doors was the runway room, rows of white chairs lined the runway, and on the far wall was a large work of graffiti. The subtle blue and purple lighting gave way once the large screen at the end of the runway was lit, scrolling through the names of the sponsors of Denver Fashion Weekend one by one.
Spread over three days, each night of Denver Fashion Weekend had a different theme. The first night showcased the National brands: Mini Cooper, Ducati, and Burton, in a Street Style fashion show. A relaxed style paired with jackets and bags alike, earthy colored t-shirts paired with slick khakis, bold jeans, and shorts paraded the runway. Sunday was the hair-show and Colorado Hairstyling Awards; Saturday was the main event, drawing a sold-out crowd of fashion-enthusiasts and socialites alike.
Saturday’s theme was a showcase of local designers and boutiques, and featured the local celebrity designer Mondo Guerra, winner of Project Runway’s first All-Star season. Radio personality Kathy-J graced the stage as the host of the evening, wearing a dark maxi dress and smartly tailored black blazer. Introducing herself, and the evening, with a million-dollar smile and some witty jokes, the lights dimmed, music boomed over the loud speaker and lights began to flash.
On the electronic board at the back of the runway in bright, life-sized white letters, the name Oscar Utierre appeared. A model draped in a sheer black evening gown appeared at the end of the runway. Each dress floor-length dress was decorated with lovely jeweled embellishments, and in an imagination-pushing cut. The models rocked a chic, slicked-back hairstyle with simple make-up and winged black eyeliner, in order to let the dresses command the stage.
Male models donned the runway next for local boutique Steadbrook, and the casual street style returned to the stage once again. The designer paired boldly patterned shirts with earth colored pants and shorts, or boldly patterned bottoms with a simple white tee. Each model came down in the runway in a relaxed manner, mirroring the designers look. The outfits paired with a 5-panel baseball cap or fisherman’s hat completed the ultra-chill spring and summertime look.
Flirty sundresses, maxi-dresses, and big sunglasses paired with side fishtail pony’s showcased a fun, beach-ready, summertime look for designer Crystal Lee. Flowing, casual outfits were the highlight of this line. Brightly colored high-heels and costume-style gold jewelry against the natural, blush colors accented the look perfectly, transforming each model into a sun-kissed goddess.
Kotomi Yoshida’s look conquered the runway next. Uniquely architectured dresses and asymmetrical jackets quickly switched the ambiance of the show. The attire was instantly eye-grabbing and interesting; with each outfit more like a work of art than a dress. Pairing lush greens and purples with softer whites, reds, and yellows, the texture of the dresses were like brush strokes on a canvas. Each look incorporated leather straps and lace accents with war-paint style make-up and bold brows to create a fascinating casually elegant style.
With the energy of the crowd at its peak, local designer Jiberish featured another set of purely men’s looks. The men’s outfits mixed button downs and casual pants with 5-panel hats, patterned hoodies and vests. This laid-back look incorporated dark blues and blacks with bright reds and creamy whites amongst tiny, simple patterns, creating a fresh, clean style. Unlike the beauty of the male models wearing the clothes, it was easy to picture any and every guy I know in one of these outfits.
The lights rose, the music died, and our host walked back out on stage to announce the halfway point of the show. After a short intermission for drink and bathroom breaks, the show started back up in a roar. Loud music flooded the speakers and lights danced around the runway as local boutique Tikwid took the stage. In true rocker fashion, studded black and red leather jackets over a white or black shirt for both men and women’s attire were worn. Atop each model’s head sat a fascinator decked out in feathers and animal bones, a true attention grabber amongst the many looks that graced the runway that evening.
Graphic classic rock tops, high-waisted hot pants, and black bikinis were the focus of the look for Revolution Management Donna Baldwin Agency. Big hair and dark make-up pulled together these effortless, yet hip every day wearable looks.
Finally, the moment everyone was waiting for arrived, the atmosphere snapped to high-anticipation and excitement as local celebrity designer Mondo Guerra’s line appeared on the runway. Flawlessly tailored, sophisticated, all-black looks were the theme. Each outfit combined satin pieces with a knitted counterpart, mixing materials and textures brilliantly. Classic-cut jackets over chic tops, stand-out skirts, and dresses were completed with a brightly colored lip on each model. The outfits were accessorized with over-sized purses and an eclectic hat or large bow in a monument of teased-out hair. This perfectly executed business-casual look was understandably the star of the show.
Hosts, models, and designers alike flooded the runway as the show ended and the crowd erupted in applause. Cheering and applause in enthusiastic appreciation drowned out the music that was playing overhead. Confetti erupted from cannons on either side of the stage as a final touch to the exhilarating evening. Once the runway was empty, attendants of the show then filed out into the warm night air to attend an after party at Epernay Lounge hosted by 303 Magazine. The city streets hummed in euphoria, and everyone present was wearing their best accessory: a smile from ear to ear.
Pictures from 303 Magazine’s Denver Fashion Weekend 2014 Day 2